Mitch is pictured presenting to the Huon Group brigades, Huon Valley SES and Huonville Police representatives.

As Christmas approached, Mitch met with various first responders’ groups in the Hobart and Huonville areas to share important messages on mental health and well-being.

In the Hobart region, Mitch had the privilege of presenting to a group of over 100 nurses specialising in Theatre and Post Anaesthetic Recovery at the Royal Hobart Hospital. It was truly humbling to see so many dedicated healthcare professionals take time out of their busy schedules to listen to Mitch’s story. Together, they reflected on ways to better support, assist, and care for one another.

1 in 10 Australian healthcare workers reported thoughts of self-harm during the pandemic, with most not seeking professional help. This made the time spent with the group even more special, emphasising the importance of conversations and the profound impact of listening on saving lives.

As offices started to shut and the holiday was just around the corner, another meaningful opportunity came up. Huonville Brigade Chief, Steven Driessen, invited Mitch to their end-of-year gathering to share crucial mental health reminders. The gathering brought together representatives from Huonville, Franklin, Grove, Upper Huon, and Cradoc fire brigades, collectively forming the Huon Group.

Representatives from Huon valley SES and Huonville police also joined in, to reflect on the importance for first responders to prioritize their own well-being. Just as in an emergency, where we are instructed to put their oxygen masks on first before assisting others, the same principle applies to mental health. Taking care of oneself allows our first responders to better support their colleagues and their community.

Thank you for having us, and for your incredible service to the Tasmanian community.

Learn more about Mitch’s story and Lived Experience Presentation here.